Recent comments

  • Grand Forks seniors home included in "Happy" video   1 year 13 weeks ago

    Beautiful!!  So nice to see everyone enjoying themselves.  What great rhythm those participants have!!  Way to go!!!

  • Grand Forks man dies after jumping off Nursery Bridge   1 year 13 weeks ago

    Thank you for the correction. My information came from the BC Coroner's Office -- they said Search and Rescue was called. When I called the Fire Hall, they were unable to talk to me.

  • Grand Forks man dies after jumping off Nursery Bridge   1 year 13 weeks ago

    One of the basic tenets of news reporting is to have the facts correct. Unfortunately, the writer of this article failed to achieve this goal.

    Grand Forks Fire Rescue volunteers were the ones in the water and on land conducting this rescue operation.


  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 15 weeks ago

    What the SCC established is that the consent of three parties will henceforth be required to advance a project: the resource extraction corporation, the provincial/federal government, and the First Nation on whose land the development is proposed.

    That there is a difference between "engaging" First Nations and obtaining their consent is evident in the number of legal challenges initiated by First Nations who are opposed to a project. Have you ever heard of a resource corporation or a government hauling a First Nation before a court to challenge their refusal to consent to a project? That is the effect of the SCC decision.

    As to Canada having the "toughest regulations and duty to public consultation" in the world, I'll take such claims with a grain of salt. I participated in a number of Canadian public consultations (e.g., Northern Gateway) and if that is "world class" then the terms does not mean much. If you can refer me to an independent academic comparative analysis of such regulations world-wide, I'll read the book before taking your claim at face value.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 15 weeks ago

    In BC there are 14 recent Resource Sharing Agreements granting First Nations 37% of mineral taxes.

    And the Tahlan deserve one too; and they'll get it - as will every other First Nation in BC probably for all future mine developments.

    Andre, the public is ignorant of the relationships between First Nations and Mining (let alone understanding the mining industry). The industry has now had many years of engaging different interest groups and communities in the very challenging province of BC; where some of the toughest regulations and duty to public consultation exist anywhere in the world.

    The Mining Industry "gets it" and even shows leadership in these relationships.

    Local community doesn't get it though; First Nations are far more sophisticated advocating for the interest of their own.

    Maybe our villages and towns MIGHT also benefit for their OWN Resources Sharing Agreements. The idea would go far to change the parasitic relationship between urban centers and the rural hinterland.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 15 weeks ago

    The resource revenue industry will have to take the time to consult the dictionary to understand the difference between consulting and consent.

    First Nations too  have an opportunity to weigh the long-term impact of job promises and investment. It would be worth their effort if First Nations were to go to Norway, spend a little time there to appreciate just what a sovereign wealth fund is, and how to manage such a fund for the long term benefit of the people from whose land resources are extracted.

  • Tahltan Nation prepare Aboriginal title case against Arctos Anthracite coal mine   1 year 15 weeks ago

    And a response from the mining industry...

    Today, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) responded to the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment that Aboriginal title over the land area as requested by the Tsilhqot’in Nation is granted, but that provincial laws and regulations still apply on the land.

    “While this is a complex and precedent-setting case that will require further review, we at AME BC know that the path forward is for the federal and provincial governments to continue consulting with the Tsilhqot’in Nation,” stated Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of AME BC. “The outcome of such consultation will enable further investment from the mineral exploration and development industry that will create jobs and shared economic opportunity for all British Columbians, including the people of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Improved certainty about title, consistent decision making processes and the application of predictable and reasonable laws and regulations are critical to successfully attracting investment to British Columbia.”

    “It is important to recognize that the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that provincial laws and regulations will continue to apply in the Tsilhqot’in Nation Aboriginal title area, subject to section 35 of the Constitution Act,” noted David McLelland, Chair of AME BC. “Government has the duty to consult with First Nations, but members of AME BC recognize that respectfully engaging with First Nations early and often creates mutual understanding, trust and respect. We have seen that mutual benefits can often occur when this approach is taken by everyone involved, including industry, First Nations and government.”

    “The exploration and development of mineral claims in the area could provide real and significant economic development opportunities and long-term net benefits to the Tsilhqot’in Nation and to everyone in British Columbia,” concluded Dirom.

  • Parallel realities   1 year 15 weeks ago

    can you possibly write so it is easier to read?  How about  it?

  • COMMENT: 'Class Composition' is more than an abstract bargaining term in the current BC teachers' strike   1 year 16 weeks ago

    The government's legislation was not just "deemed unlawful" by the courts, it was found to be in contravention of the Constitution. 

    As to the consequences, take that class of 32 including 8 "coded" kids in your example. Not only will the education of those 8 "coded" kids be inadequate because the kids will not get the focused attention they need to learn, the education of the other 24 kids suffers as well for the same reason. Any extra time and attention dedicated by the teacher to the "coded" kids is "stolen" from the "uncoded" ones. The government's position is a lose-lose-lose position: legally, for "coded" kids, and for "uncoded" kids.


  • A Closer Look at Indian Dance--this Thursday in Castlegar   1 year 16 weeks ago

    CORRECTION: Please note that this dance performance actually runs from 4-5PM today. From 5-6 there will be a food and drink sharing as well as free dance lessons for those interested.--ed.

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 17 weeks ago

    Wise people have noted that the proper journey of life is from self to other. Unfortunately, possession of money invariably enhances the Self and impedes spiritual progress. It's a pretty simple fact but, as a species and as individuals, we have a really, really hard time digesting it. Jesus was pretty clear on the subject, for example, but the religion that was formed around his name hasn't done a very good job of practising the whole 'camels and eye of the needle' thing.

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 17 weeks ago

    You may want to at Alasdair MacIntyre's 'After Virtue' to your list of recommended books.

    Here is a thought of his that relates to your topic:

    "We should [therefore] expect that, if in a particular society the pursuit of external goods were to become dominant, the concept of the virtues might suffer first attrition and then perhaps something near total effacement, although simulacra might about."

    A further thought:

    "In what does the unity of an individual life consist? The answer is that its unity is the unity of a narrative embodied in a single life. To ask 'What is the good for me?' is to ask how best I might live out that unity and bring it to completion. To ask 'What is the good for man?' is to ask what all answers to the former question must have in common."

    Reading MacIntyre reveals the politics we have been pursuing in Canada for well over a decade as something we ought not take too much pride in.

  • Reality is not what it used to be   1 year 17 weeks ago

    The Nelson-y idea that money is 'attracted' to evolved souls is disgusting and evil. Sorry, sub-Saharan Africa--you're just not ready for a full belly yet, not like the Boomer elites of Nelson, BC! If people are willing to believe that, why don't they just come completely out of the closet as white supremacists, given how unequally material wealth is divided along racial lines in this world?

    Better to posit that wealth is a sort of cancer that's attracted to weak spiitual immune systems--it ultimately swallows up and replaces the soul. We don't only see this insane attitude in pot-dulled hippie discourse--Christianity manifests the same concept through the concept of 'stewardship' to which some of that religion's more benighted believers subscribe.

  • Who needs $80 billion? Starve us some more!   1 year 17 weeks ago

    There is not much to add to your column, Murray, but I do want you to know that I read your columns, and that I appreciate the time and effort you put into presenting responsible political opinions and comments.

    Writers of your caliber remind us that, as much as Thatcherite ideologues would want to see ourselves as taxpayers rather than citizens, to agree that there is no such thing as society, and that the purpose of humanity is to serve the needs of the economy, to follow such an ideology will invariably produce costly consequences. Most likely, and that is most unfortunate and unfair, the true cost of current government decisions, federal and provincial, will not be paid by the generation that voted for these politicians, it will have to be paid by our grandchildren.

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 18 weeks ago

    ... the government is, in the final analysis, the people. Right? Whose nose is being cut to save whose face?

    The kind of condition your daughter has to cope with, Ken, is not all that unusual. We were lucky. Our son is autistic, and at the time he was about 7 at the time the B.C. Government was headed by Dave Barrett. The government then funded a special school for autistic kids, the teacher-student ratio was 2 to 1. That's right, two teacher per child.

    Although of limited ability due to his autism, our son lives under supervision in the lower mainland, but has a full-time job cleaning in a restaurant kitchen in the lower mainland. Minimum wage, but has not been unemployed for a single day in his adult life.

    Was the public expense of his education worth the effort? Even if you ignore the personal experience and the social aspects of the life he has enjoyed, on purely economic terms the answer is a clear yes. 

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 18 weeks ago

    You may be right Andre, and maybe class size and composition is an issue where "The Provincial Government needs an education about education" .... to steal the title of one of your previous comments. 

    One of my daughters is a teacher. When she told me her Grade 4 class had 29 students, my comment was "well....when your mom started teaching she had 43 students in her Grade 4 Class."

    My daughter then told me that her class has about 60% ESL (English as a second language); including two new immigrants with no Engish at all. Six of her students have IEPs (Independent Education Plans) because 3 are autistic, 1 mentally challenged and 2 with other learning disabilities.In addition, she has to cope with two students with severe behavioural problems.

    Out of her 29 students only 5 could be classed as "typical, ordinary students" and she commented that if all her students were like those 5 she could teach a class of 50.

    Bundling the kind of mix my daughter has to teach, together in one class seems unfair to everyone including teachers, students and parents. It only benefits the employer (the Government) by allowing cutbacks in special needs educatiion.

    I can understand why teachers want class size and composition on the negotiating table.          

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 18 weeks ago

    I have not done enough research to categorically state the following to be true.

    My understanding, however, is that the reason salaries for B.C. teachers are below the Canadian average is that teachers had agree to a lower rate of pay in exchange for class size/composition considerations. Class size/composition, so teachers maintain, affects teaching efficacy.

    The government then went along with it then. Today the government is determined to use the lower salaries as the base line for future wage increases, but to detach class size/composition from the contract.

    The teacher traded salary for class size/composition, and now the government wants to maintain the salary half of the deal but reverse the class size/composition half.

    No wonder tempers are flaring.

  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 18 weeks ago

    I would be interested to hear from the folks who registered "thumbs down" to Andre's suggestion. 

    From what I have read, BC teachers are paid less than most of the other provinces. What would be wrong with paying teachers at the average rate of all the Southern provinces?

    A teacher in BC after 4-years of academic training (Category4) can look forward to starting at about the same pay as a school janitor.(about $43,000 per annum).

    A Category 6 teacher with a total of 6 or more years of academic and professional studies, including an acceptable graduate degree, can look forward to receiving about the same starting pay as a City Public Works labourer (about $53,520 per annum).

    It makes you wonder why anyone would want to be a teacher in BC!  




  • OP/ED: Minister releases statement on BCTF job action   1 year 18 weeks ago

    How about paying teachers at the Canadian average, based on Statistics Canada figures?

    According to Stats Can the starting salary for teachers in B.C. is the lowest of any province and territory. Heck, the top salary of a B.C. teacher is less than the entry level for teachers in the NWT!



  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 18 weeks ago

    This article will give you an idea of employment terms in other developed countries:


  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 18 weeks ago


    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Should we mark your "essay"?

  • Op/Ed: Thoughts from a teacher's kid   1 year 18 weeks ago

    I wonder just how much the "poor little children" would benifit from teachers making in eccess of $200,000.00 per year. and be required to work only 4 hours per day three days per week.    Some how, I don't  think anything would change.

    I read my grandson's grade eleven research essay a few months ago and I swear to God, if that was grade eleven work and rated at the given 90%, I dread the thought of him becoming a leader of our country, a doctor or anything that requires an education. 

    Les Anderson


  • CONTEST: Sponsored by Canadoodle Australian Labradoodles   1 year 18 weeks ago

    The random number generator says THREE -- That's you Missie C. I'll contact you asap 

  • The provincial government needs an education about education   1 year 19 weeks ago

    I admire your idealism and solution-oriented thinking, Andre. I'm afraid, however, that I no longer think we live in a democracy at the provincial or federal levels. Rather, we live in a system that merely serves the interests of capital--a place where good ideas--or ideas of any sort beyond the crude math of 'efficiency'--hold no sway.

    I can only imagine that things will get worse and worse for teachers and for everyone except the 1% as EVERYTHING is now measured solely in terms of 'productivity'. I was just reading an article from the Boundary Sentinel that speaks of Christina Lake's attempts to save their school. Parents saying that the value a school to a community can't be measured in dollars. Well, guess what? It can and it is. Say farewell to your school.

    This all reads as very depressing, doesn't it? I'm not writing from a negative space, however.  Maybe the most worrisome thing of all is that I seem to have accepted this view of things as a simple fact. Too many of us have drunk the Kool-Aid of 'money talks' and we'll now end up riding that train to whereever it leads us--then hopefully begin to rebuild after we hit rock bottom.

  • Grand Forks parents have mixed feelings on proposed Middle School   1 year 19 weeks ago